The man woke up, dazed and not knowing exactly where he was. The flies buzzed around him and heard strange insects sounds he was unfamiliar with. When he looked up, he could not see the sky. Just a faint penetration of light from above. At this time, he was now sure he was outside, on the ground in a huge jungle. Now, Magigo was really scared because it was dangerous to be out there alone.
Magigo was a highly respected farmer in his small village of Osis in the western tropical region of Africa. Of course there were many such villages scattered kilometers from each other but Osis was uniquely located and with special people. It was a village on the mountain top with fine streams flowing down the sides of the mountain which made Osis thrive all year round without the fear of famine as suffered by neighboring towns and villages. They were self sufficient and the people worked very hard even though they were very few. About one thousand to be precise.
The people were also unique. They were famed to be gifted as clairvoyants and future seers. The amount of such persons in Osis is what made them the golden pearl in the middle of no where. They were acclaimed to be able to see future happenings and so able to take precautionary measures to prevent impending disasters. The chief priest would have to confirm any act of clairvoyancy because they were also weary of misjudged visions by some egocentric few in their midst especially Haruni, the self proclaimed greatest hunter of both the living and the spiritual. He lets everyone know this at every opportunity he gets. “I have a special gift” he would say. “A gift that is not like any other. I see the living and I see the dead. I even see the angry souls who left when they weren’t ready”. He says this everywhere, be it in the market square or at Obosi, the king’s palace. He was almost never afraid of his proclamations maybe because of who is father was. His father was one of the grandsons of the man they call the ‘Epa Ogbeni’, the Elephant slayer. His great grand dad liberated the village from a set of wild, menacing killer elephants that threatened Osis and her people for more than ten years. Legend had it that he disappeared into thin air and followed the elephants to their nests and slayed them one after the other. So, since then, anyone who had any family connection to Epa Ogbeni was almost protected and invisible to the consequences of contravening the laws of the land.
Magigo has a loving family of four which included his wife and two children, Ekisi and Canel. His wife, Etire, supports him by helping with the work in the farm. She tends to the young food crops like the yams, cassavas, plantains and tomatoes. She made sure she weeds around them regularly to prevent them from being suffocated while still young. His husband does the heavier chores like digging the holes for planting both the yams and cassavas. The children would do the little they could whenever they came back from school and fetch water from the stream when the house needed some. These where the traditional roles of the family members. This was about the same in every household in Osis village.
Magigo was a man known for his profound thoughts. He would often drift away for minutes on end and go into his series of trance. What he heard or saw sometimes, he would refuse to share with his family for the fear that either they would not understand the meaning or think that he had gone mad. The latter could be serious and tarnishing to his image. He did not want to scare his family. He told himself several times, that he would let them know at the right time. He once fell into a trance where the heavens above was totally blood red and the sun was green in the middle of the day. Heard voices he couldn’t explain or understand the meaning of. In his mind, he knew it could only mean just one thing which was an impending bad omen.
Even with all these experiences, he was a tranquil man on the outside. He always seem to have no worries at all. That gave his family, especially his wife the strength she needed to keep going, on a daily basis. They weren’t rich at all. In fact, they were below average using the village standard measurement of wealth. They had a farm land that barely was sufficient to feed the family and a few goats and hens in their yard. He worked hard and went to the farm even on days designated as spiritual days at Osis. He had to, because he needed to feed his family. On one such day, he took his hoe and cutlass and headed for the farm at the early hours of the morning before sun rise. He promised himself that he would be back home before the other villagers began to wake up. He hurried along the rough, winding foot path, chewing aggressively on the chewing stick his wife had handed him. As he walked briskly, he tripped on a stone and fell to the ground. Immediately, he felt a drowsiness that confused his state of consciousness. He couldn’t ascertain if he was unconscious or awake.The voice came to his ears with an unusual clarity to it. It has never been this clear. It said, “You would have to go on the journey I would send you. The fate of the land is in your hands” it said. It was a calm but firm voice. “What journey? ” he asked. He had never left his village in a very long time. The last time he did was when he was a boy and went with his father to the village of Gatoka to sell the leopard skins they had as it was a highly valued commodity over there then and even now. “You would have to go to the edge of the earth and retrieve the plant of life I would show to you”.
This can’t be happening, he thought he was dreaming. As he continued to question his status, he snapped out of his vision. Like on many occasions, he was confused and afraid and promised not to tell anyone about it. As a little kid, he knew he was one of the gifted seers because of some of his small visions which came to realization like when he told his parents that he saw blood shed in the land and several prominent persons were killed including the king’s grand son. It was so detailed and precise. Just as he predicted, Osis was invaded the next week by a warring village, whose name he has since forgotten and low and behold, the king’s grand son was brutally slaughtered. His father has since told him he was a special child even though he has had no such visions since then.
He got home while the sun had since gone down. He came as usual, carrying the small bunch of plantain he had cut on the way back and the small bush rat, his trap had caught after a whole week of waiting. He tried to hide his confusion, but Etire was quick to notice his mood. “What is wrong my husband?’ She asked and “Something bothers you papa. ” she said almost in a calm sorrowful tone. He tried to shake her off by trying painfully to reassure her that there was nothing wrong, but at the end, he had to give in to her pressure to save him from the torment of her quizzing. “I heard a voice today” he began. Etire prompted him to continue. “The voice told me I had been chosen to go to the edge of the earth for humanity’s survival”. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She knew she had to kill off that thought immediately because of the tough and stubborn husband she had come to know over their eighteen years of marriage. He was almost never bendable when he holds on to a thought or an idea he felt strongly about. She knew she had to try as hard as she could. “My dear husband. This can’t be true. I am sure you were not feeling too well this morning before you left for the farm” she began with a slight quiver to her voice. “This was totally my fault because I didn’t wake up early to prepare your meal. It must have been the empty stomach”. Magigo shook his head gently. He knew what the reaction would be. He was about to say something when Ekisi, his sixteen year old son came in and knelt down, as is the tradition, to greet his Dad. He was quickly followed in by Canel, who just became sixteen last moon. She got a full bowl of boiled corn meal with chicken stew. That was one of the happiest days of her life. Magigo could not continue in the presence of his young children. He let his wife feel that she had won.